Jeremy's Weblog

I recently graduated from Harvard Law School. This is my weblog. It tries to be funny. E-mail me if you like it. For an index of what's lurking in the archives, sorted by category, click here.

Tuesday, October 22, 2002

Here's something scary. I just laughed at something in a contracts case. I have become comfortable enough with reading these cases that I was actually able to find humor in a court's opinion. This is very scary. Let me try to share without being incomprehensible. There's this case where a big company took out a loan from another big company, and the contract clearly says the company can't pay it off early. But they want to pay it off early because interest rates have gone down and they're locked into a high rate. So they sue, claiming that while the contract is clear, the intent of the parties when they signed it was to allow early payment -- and they have evidence they want to present regarding that. The court wants to say no, this is ridiculous, you're stuck in your contract, you can't show us extrinsic evidence when the contract is so unambiguosly clear. Go away. But, there's a prior case where the court decided that words are never completely unambiguous and that one should always be able to show extrinsic evidence to determine intent. So the court here is stuck. Even though they really want to dismiss the case. So the opinion says, "While we have our doubts about the wisdom of [the prior case], we have no difficulty understanding its meaning, even without extrinsic evidence to guide us." This is funny stuff. This is laugh-out-loud law going on here. And, yes, I realize how pathetic that makes me sound. I have reached rock bottom: I am laughing at case law.